George A. Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead, has passed away at the age of 77. The iconic horror director died in his sleep following a battle with an aggressive lung cancer while listening to the score of 1952's The Quiet Man, which was one of his favorite movies. As news of his death spreads, the horror world has taken to social media to pay their respects and pay tribute to the "Godfather of the Dead."
George A. Romero made 1968's Night of the Living Dead in Pittsburgh on a budget of $114,000. The movie became a cult sensation, earning $30 million. Romero's friends and associates along with this Image Ten production company threw their money together to make the project a reality. Romero was heavily influenced by Richard Matheson's book I Am Legend and made his black and white movie about a group of people trapped in a Pennsylvania farmhouse who were then attacked by the undead. The director later said that the movie was a critique on capitalism. It eventually gained critical success and has since been selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry, deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically pleasing."
After straying from the zombie movies throughout the 70s, Romero returned to the zombie genre in 1978 with Dawn of the Dead. Romero wrote the movie with Italian filmmaker Dario Argento and was also filmed in Pittsburgh over the course of 4 months. The movie became the blueprint for anything zombie related that you see today and spawned 4 sequels as well as a re-imagining in 2004 by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who wrote the script, with Zack Snyder directing. George A. Romero's influence cannot be understated, the man was a true trailblazer. The horror world has been paying tribute to the genre legend since the news was announced. Stephen King says this on Twitter.
"Sad to hear my favorite collaborator, and good old friend, George A. Romero has died. George, there will never be another you."
Eli Roth also took to Twitter to pay his respects. He says, "Just heard the news about George Romero. Heard to quantify how much he inspired me and what he did for cinema. Condolences to his family." Barbara Crampton shared: "RIP George Romero. Your groundbreaking contributions to the genre are unparalled. We will miss you and are made better for your brilliance." Don Mancini says, "RIP George Romero. You live on through your works and in the hearts of us fans."
Mike Flanagan (Hush, Quija) took to twitter to say that, "It is impossible to overstate George A. Romero's impact on the genre. We've lost a legend. May he rest in peace." Voiceover actor D.C. Douglas paid his respects by saying, "RIP George A. Romero...Everyone involved in the world of Zombies today owe you much gratitude... Here's hoping you stay dead." Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, Man on the Moon) said, "George A. Romero was the first filmmaker I ever met. I was a film student at USC and he kindly invited me to the sound mix for Creepshow. RIP" Many more in the horror community have paid their respects and you can read them below. RIP to the "Godfather of the Dead."
Sad to hear my favorite collaborator--and good old friend--George Romero has died. George, there will never be another like you.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 16, 2017
Goodbye George A Romero. We laughed through 50 years and 9 films. I will miss him. There is a light that has gone out and can't be replaced. pic.twitter.com/N0MAC1ItVM— Tom Savini (@THETomSavini) July 16, 2017
Romero has passed away. Hard to find words right now. The loss is so enormous.— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) July 16, 2017
It is impossible to overstate George A. Romero's impact on the genre. We've lost a legend. Sadness, and gratitude. May he Rest In Peace.— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) July 16, 2017
RIP George A Romero... Everyone involved in the world of Zombies today owe you much gratitude... Here hoping you stay dead. 💀💔— D.C. Douglas (@DC_Douglas) July 16, 2017
George A Romero was the first filmmaker I ever met. I was a film student at USC & he kindly invited me to the soundmix for Creepshow. RIP. pic.twitter.com/IAeTECoOGy— Larry Karaszewski (@Karaszewski) July 16, 2017
Just heard the news about George Romero. Hard to quantify how much he inspired me & what he did for cinema. Condolences to his family. ❤️— Eli Roth (@eliroth) July 16, 2017
RIP George Romero. Your groundbreaking contributions to the genre are unparrelled. We will miss you and are made better for your brilliance pic.twitter.com/zYPn3GRfXw— Barbara Crampton (@barbaracrampton) July 16, 2017
RIP GEORGE ROMERO. YOU LIVE ON THROUGH YOUR WORK AND IN THE HEARTS OF US FANS. pic.twitter.com/08L4iEQYKn— Don Mancini (@RealDonMancini) July 16, 2017
RIP George Romero. You were a genius, and I look forward to your inevitable return. https://t.co/8GTVebIMBc— Brian Lynch (@BrianLynch) July 16, 2017
So sad to hear about the passing of George A. Romero. A true visionary & highly influential filmmaker who played a big role in movie history pic.twitter.com/4cT5W8tUtv— Alicia Malone (@aliciamalone) July 16, 2017
RIP George Romero! Had the pleasure of working with him on Savini's NOLD remake, enjoyed his company at many horror cons. A huge influence!!— Bill Moseley (@choptopmoseley) July 16, 2017
A fond farewell to charming, legendary zombie king George Romero. 'Martin' is one of my favourite horrors. An honour to have met him. RIP pic.twitter.com/8ZIwjxFrmx— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) July 16, 2017
All zombies, bow your wonderfully disgusting heads. Rest In Peace to the legendary George Romero. #NightOfTheLivingDead— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) July 16, 2017
R.I.P. George Romero. A true legend. Started a new genre on his own. Who else can claim that?— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) July 16, 2017
SAD YET SOMEHOW FITTING GEORGE ROMERO'S INFLUENCE ON STORYTELLING NOW GNAWS AT US FROM THE GRAVE - THANK YOU, MR. ROMERO AND REST IN PEACE pic.twitter.com/H9OjBcwz0c— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) July 16, 2017
George Romero was an icon who created a cinematic universe of loosely affiliated sequels forty years before that was a thing— Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) July 16, 2017
RIP to a genius